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New Orleans

royal street dogNew Orleans is a great shopping city, particularly for art, Cajun and Creole goodies, and of course, Mardi Gras beads. It's easy to come across one-of-a-kind finds that would be impossible to get elsewhere. St. Claude Avenue boasts "junk shops" that sell reused, recycled and vintage goods, from antiques to eight-tracks. Voodoo shops abound; you'll find them mostly in the French Quarter. For standard souvenirs, like "Who Dat" T-shirts, key chains and postcards, head to Bourbon Street.

Buying anything on elegant Royal Street requires a hefty budget, but it doesn't hurt your wallet just to peek at the numerous stores selling estate furniture, Persian rugs and other high-quality antiques. Interesting vendors include James H. Cohen & Sons, which sells antique guns and coins, and Joan Good Antique Jewelry, which sells, of course, vintage jewelry.

Magazine Street, the commercial center of the historic Garden District, is New Orleans' prime shopping spot, particularly between the 2200 and 3500 blocks. The street features small, unique shops selling antiques, secondhand books, art, fashion and luxury items, with plenty of coffee shops and a handful of restaurants for when you need a break.

In the French Quarter is the famous French Market, open daily, which offers some produce and many stalls loaded with hot sauces and Cajun spices. Beyond is a flea market that is the perfect place for inexpensive souvenirs, from voodoo dolls to Mardi Gras beads and boas.

Looking for brand-name goods galore? You'll find boutiques and upscale restaurants at The Shops at Canal Place, located near Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Stores include Coach, Brooks Brothers and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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